Canadian Rental Service

CRA President’s Message August 2015

By David Mintenko   

Canadian Rental Association

As the summer rolls along and the weather progressively continues to heat up along with day-to-day business one of the seasonal predicaments we find ourselves in is needing to manage vacation times for our employees.

This is not so much a predicament for them, but how many times have we found ourselves short-handed, which seems at times to last forever. Couple this with business escalating and those eight-to-10-hour days stretch into 12 hours plus and six- or seven-day work weeks. I know many or most of us have plans in place to combat the yearly expected shortages, whether it be through local employment centres, web sites or other job placement agencies. Some of the best ones I have ran into in my career are underneath our noses: local high school students, neighbours’ kids or fellow employees’ kids looking for summer employment. While not ideal for every situation we have to fill, I have found nothing more gratifying throughout my career than to uncover those hidden jewels of individuals who tend to return throughout their school years and end up making the decision to start a career in rentals. The transformation of greenhorn to seasoned veterans in the rental world never ceases to amaze me.

When your employees are taking vacations, remember the people left in your workplace now have to take on extra workloads for those who have gone to frolic in the summer sun. These the extra work and responsibility these individuals take on should never be forgotten. Extra attention must be paid to make sure they are not overstressed or overloaded and that constant appreciation is being showed. Some forethought in having these backup employees trained by the person leaving for holidays is a good idea. Splitting duties amongst a few co-workers where possible is also the right thing to do. There is sometimes an added bonus in that there may be hidden talents that are revealed when the backups take on new challenges.

One of the many items we tend to neglect or assume is that all the replacements are safely trained in all aspects of the additional duties that have been handed to them. We must do our due diligence in making sure that these people have been given proper orientation where required for each new or different task.

This is a great time for planning fall meetings, potential upcoming elections and particularly recruiting of new members. I have always found the fall meeting a great place to invite potential new or returning members to join in to promote and reinforce what the CRA has to offer. I also encourage all board members to read through the Roberts Book of Rules to bone up on the election processes and to contact Nathalie or Jenna for any questions they have about bringing on potential new board members. I also encourage each and every one of you travelling to other provinces to get hold of local members at your destination to see if there are any summer meetings or outings being planned. It’s a great networking option!

The CRA head office and  executive are currently working on agendas for our fall board meetings in Vancouver in late September and also our first “summit” meeting between the ARA and CRA being held in Toronto in August. This will definitely be an interesting and informative inaugural event. I for one am certainly looking forward to the exchange of ideas and new concepts that I am sure will be brought forth. I hope  to share details in next column.

In closing I want to thank the Alberta local for the hospitality and most excellent fun adventure I was able to experience for the first time in early June at their golf tournament. While the weather was a tad on the cool side we did not get wet on the outside. The organization and banquet they put together was, as usual, done in a very professional manner.

Dave Mintenko is senior branch manager of Hertz Equipment Rentals in Winnipeg and national president of the Canadian Rental Association. He has been in the rental business for 35 years.

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